The warning of offensive material sign outside the school was also a little misquoted (“Play shouldn’t be such an issue,” June 25, Community Commentary).
The sign at the school said that the play contained 400-year-old bawdy jokes, that some may find offensive. They were Shakespeare’s jokes. Not one word in the play was altered.
I did not consider this a serious warning of any perversions to come. Yes, swords were used with a thrust, to insinuate, but these scenes are acted out the same in the movie versions of “Romeo and Juliet.”
All the actors were fully clothed in modern wear. When Romeo and Juliet were in bed, the bed was a large wood crate with a sheet thrown over it, they recited lines in fluffy pink bathrobes.
Hardly a porn scene. Bailey and the students worked so hard to make a great play. These are kids that are old enough to drive, and have already started forming romantic relationships of their own. Is it OK to let our children have romantic relationships, then act so puritanical?
Most of the audience members have seen much more erotic material watching perfume, beer and car commercials on television. My husband and I were fully aware of the casting and costumes.
Our son even asked our permission because his character uses a swear word in “The Laramie Project,” and he wanted us to know beforehand. We certainly never felt that there was anything hidden in the drama class.
Shakespeare’s original version had men performing all roles.
Auditions were held, and a female won the role of Romeo. She did an amazing job.
I hope that this ongoing witch hunt against Bailey is not because of macho pride. Is the underlying problem really the issue of “why should a girl play Romeo when I have a son in the drama class?”
Bailey’s career and life have been turned into a horrible ordeal. Over a school play. He is the teacher who stayed with these kids late at school rehearsing, who led them to victories at Drama Teachers Association of Southern California events. Instead of going to the movies, some of the students were going to see live theater instead. He inspired them to read plays, as well as novels.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but why the need to ruin a career over it.
Bailey certainly has a grievance (“Teacher files grievance,” June 25). I have a son who was introduced to theater, discovered he had fun acting, found a wonderful mentor in Bailey, and is now only thinking about dropping drama class for next year.
He does not want to be there without Mr. B.
DEBBIE PIEHLER is a Burbank resident.